2012 Mathematical Multifaceted Integrated Capabilities Center (MMICCs)
Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) DE-FOA-0000698 and Program Announcement LAB12-698
Q1: In the solicitation, you state: "The number of awards will depend on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of appropriated funds. However, it is anticipated that approximately 3 to 4 centers will be awarded with total project size ranging from $2,000,000 to $3,500,000 per year. It is anticipated that approximately 9 awards will be made with a range of $250,000 to $3,500,000 per year." We do not understand the last sentence. Does it refer to 9 awards in addition to those for the centers or does it mean something else?
A1: This could be interpreted in multiple ways. The following wording should be more clear: "The award size will depend on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of appropriated funds. However, it is anticipated that approximately 3 to 4 MMICCs will be funded at a rate ranging from $2,000,000 to $3,500,000 per year. Note that each MMICC may be a project involving several institutions and that funding for each institution is considered a separate award. In total, it is anticipated that approximately 9 separate awards will be made. Individual awards, as part of a MMICC, may range from $250,000 to $3,500,000 per year."
Q2: The solicitation calls for a 1/3 of time commitment by the Center Director. We put together a very effective team of three leaders, each representing an important disciplinary or interdisciplinary component. Is this something that could be considered instead?
A2: The 1/3 time commitment of the center director is motivated by the fact that we expect the center director to need to play a very active role in ensuring coordination and integration of the center. Having three "co-leads" is possible, but we would prefer having one center director. If three co-leads truly coordinate and co-manage the team and one integrated center, then it would potentially justifiable to have less than the "expected" 1/3 time commitment for the center director.
Q3: We have a number of reasons for wanting to have two co-directors. Would it be acceptable to list two co-directors for the center, rather than just one?
A3: Yes, however, you will need to explain how this will result in one integrated, collaborative center and not two separate efforts.
Q4: The solicitation includes four illustrative examples / science drivers of importance for MMICCs. Will other DOE science drivers be considered?
A4: Yes. DOE science and engineering drivers may be drawn from the DOE Office of Science, National Nuclear Security Administration and/or the Applied Offices.
Q5: The solicitation is seeking applications for Mathematical Multifaceted Integrated Capability Centers addressing the long-term mathematical challenges for one or more DOE grand challenges. Can I address only one DOE grand challenge or do I have to address multiple challenges?
A5: You may address one DOE grand challenge. It is important to focus on abstracting this into an interrelated set of mathematical research challenges that require new integrated, iterative processes across multiple mathematical disciplines. Applications focused on solution of a specific application problem will be considered outside the scope of this FOA.
Q6: We're having a little trouble interpreting one of the sentences from the MMICC FOA Summary, "Applications focused on solution of a specific application problem will be considered outside the scope of this FOA." Should this be interpreted as meaning that proposals must address multiple application problems, or should it be interpreted as meaning that proposals must focus on the mathematics needed for a specific application (or multiple applications), but not seek to answer specific scientific questions from that application domain?
A6: This should be interpreted as proposals must focus on the integrated mathematics needed for one (or more) DOE applications / Grand Challenges, and not seek to answer specific scientific questions from the application domain.